Bikers: Cover Your A$$
By Scott O’Sullivan, The O’Sullivan Law Firm
When I attend motorcycle rallies and events, I’m often asked, “What insurance do I need?” Insurance is often a legal formality for most riders heading out for a gorgeous summer ride. But I’m here to tell you, having the right insurance is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and the people who care about you.
Are you one of many people who have “full coverage” and think you’re good to go? Hang on, my friend…
Recently, a man came to us who was injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a car driver. When he originally got his motorcycle insurance he purchased, what he understood to be, “full coverage” insurance. What that really meant was that he purchased the minimum insurance required by Colorado Law: $25,000.
To make matters worse, the person who hit this victim only had $25,000 in coverage also. So, the maximum he could get was $50,000 to pay for medical bills, lost work, physical therapy, a totaled motorcycle… This man’s financial needs will exceed $200,000 and we can only get him $50,000 because both drivers had such low coverage.
It is completely unfair that this person is learning the hard way what I want you to learn easier: Get as much insurance as you can afford! You simply cannot rely on someone else to have enough coverage to save you from financial ruin from an accident that could happen to any of us. Even more terrifying is the number of uninsured drivers in Colorado. In 2014 The Denver Post estimated the number of uninsured drivers at nearly one in six or 16.2% of drivers in the state.
Here are the types of insurance you should have if you’re going to ride your motorcycle in Colorado:
• Underinsured Motorist Coverage
• Medical Payments Coverage
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If you are like most people, you probably have a health insurance plan with an annual deductible and co-pays. Imagine that you’re in a catastrophic accident: your deductible and co-pays will be your own burden to pay. Now, what if you can’t work? And what if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, providing very little (or nothing) to help you cover those expenses?
Your Underinsured Motorist Insurance covers:
• Lost wages
• Future medical expenses
• Any damage arising from the accident (with the exception of property damage)
• All economic and noneconomic loss, which includes pain and suffering
Does your health insurance cover all of those areas? No. You need UIM and, as a motorcycle rider, you need a minimum of $250,000 of coverage because motorcycle injuries are more traumatic than car accident injuries.
Medical Payments Coverage
Medical Payment Coverage, also called MedPay, is a premium that your motorcycle insurance company must offer you. The value of the coverage can range from $5,000 to $25,000.
Your MedPay coverage can be used to pay for first responders, such as ambulance companies. It also covers emergency room bills or any other medical bills related to your injury as a result of your accident, whether or not you were at fault. MedPay can cover co-pays, deductibles, doctor visits and therapeutic treatments such as chiropractors, massage therapy, and physical therapy. In essence, it may cover a lot of things that your health insurance may not.
Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage if I Have Collision Insurance? For more information on this topic, read the rest of this article in The Chopper 2017 Issue of InkSpired Magazine.
To learn more about protecting yourself as a rider, download my free iBook or read it online: Motorcycle Law: A Little Book About the Big Things You should Know. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call me: 303-388-5304.